What To Do When Fear And Self-Doubt Strike

Reading time: 4 minutes

bigstock-unhappy-woman-holding-her-head-48717968

[success]Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. ~ William Shakespeare[/success]

It happens to us all.

We’ve all had those doubting, self-critical thoughts:

I know I’m going to make a complete fool of myself.

How about I’m going to make an ass of myself…heavens to Betsy. 

What if I invest my time and money not to mention energy and I still mess it up…in other words I fail.

They’re much younger, better, more intelligent, more capable and already more successful than me…I’m such a loser.

It’s okay.  We’ve been trained to deal with fear and self-doubt in ways that aren’t helpful: by resisting it, or relying on over analysis to quell those dastardly thoughts and we can end up believing we’re pretty pathetic for experiencing them in the first place.

When I first started to study Neville Goddard some…ahem…years ago it was oddly disquieting.  Here I was a relatively intelligent woman reading comments on an internet group of fellow Neville students and I didn’t even know what they heck they were talking about.

I told my Darling One.  I have no clue about this.  It’s over my head.

He said, if you love it, keep going.

I persisted, but it was hard.  I’d study a book or a lecture and revisit the Group in the hope that the conversation was one I could now follow.  Wasn’t happening.  A wave of doubt and dismay washed over me.  These people were so far beyond my limited spiritual awareness and I couldn’t see how I’d ever grasp even the basic concepts that seemed second nature to them.

My Darling One said, keep going.

Whilst I didn’t believe I was in their league, I kept reading and practicing the principles of what Neville calls The Law. Neville teaches about the power of imagination, and I was using it all right…just not in the way he intended…to create something new.

I stopped by the group a month or so later and I could comprehend some of the conversation…I began to make some sense out of the jargon that had seemed so far beyond my ability to understand.

And in the process I learned a lot.  Not just about the practices of operating universal laws, but about perspective and how important it is. And how to handle moving out of my comfort zone with a little more ease and grace.

I discovered that when we aspire to make changes, to achieve something greater, to step up to the plate of life in a bigger way, we’re likely to have feelings of self-doubt, and maybe feel less than.

If we see ourselves as midgets in a land of giants you can bet your bottom dollar we’re going to be challenged.

So for all of us who’ve been discouraged by feeling we’re behind the curve or struggling with change here’s what I discovered through what I cheerily call my ‘Neville experience’ because what you do when self-doubt sets in can make all the difference in your world.

Stop critical thinking and have a defense plan

No, not the critical thinking we’re taught in school.  I’m talking about that inner critic.  Those thoughts we have that insist we can’t do something as well as someone else.

It isn’t that we have friends or family who tell us we’re blooming hopeless and could never accomplish our goals.  Well hopefully not, unless they’re just meanies.

We do it to ourselves.  Over and over we read or listen to how we can be so much more.  You know the stuff…click here and you’ll be brilliant with a wave of the hand.  You’ll be thinner, more beautiful, fitter…instantly.

Only we can’t.

We’re not.

And in paying attention to all this nonsense we’ve created a sense of inferiority in who we are.

The instant you hear that negative voice in your head…turn to something else.  Get distracted.  Focus on something else.  Get active.  Anything that breaks the chain reaction of negativity.

This is your defense plan to stop those critical thoughts dead in their tracks and move away from the preconditioned method you had of dealing with self-doubt.

Ask for help

It’s amazing how unwilling we are to reach out to others for help.

Can’t do something?

Someone else can.

Find them and ask them to help you.  You’d be amazed at how many wonderful, helpful, supportive people there are in the world once you begin to reach out.

Maybe there’s a group of like minded people that you can join for encouragement and inspiration.

If I’d been willing to ask the people in the Neville group to explain what I couldn’t understand, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts most of them would have said yes.  Heck, they were practicing principles such as what you do for another, you do for yourself.

As you develop your helpful relationships you’ll probably find that not only will they help you but they’ll promote whatever it is you’re up to.  And just as great, you might even discover that you know a heck of a lot more than you give yourself credit for…and it could be that you turn out to be their greatest booster.

No stopping – just keep right on trucking

We’re all capable of so much more than we believe.  We might have thoughts of self-doubt and of not being capable enough, but we don’t have to listen to them. They’re just thoughts and we can drop them any time we choose.

Don’t allow someone else’s success stop you from achieving your own.

Become your own greatest cheerleader.

It’s our belief in things that draws the evidence of them into our world. Belief in you might be the most difficult challenge in your lifetime, but once you get there, nothing can hold you back from creating your bright new future.

Remember, your future isn’t preordained and it isn’t happening out of the blue.  Millions of possible futures exist within you, awaiting release.  All of them being created or recreated by every belief, every thought and every feeling  you have and self-doubt, unmanaged, won’t be bringing the best one possible.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  Has fear or self-doubt stopped you from following your passion? What did you do? Your answer might just give someone in our global community the tool to manage self-doubt.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

ElleSommer
Elle Sommer is the author and founder of Live Purposefully Now, a website focused on sharing the insights and ancient wisdom that have collectively changed her life, in the desire to make a meaningful impact on yours. Trained at Coach U and having completed a year long training with Bob Proctor, her mission is to encourage and inspire others to build the business, relationships and life they want. Get your free instant access to Success Simplified ebook and get the tips, techniques and secrets of successfully living the life you want.

Comment via Facebook

22 Comments

  • When I begin to doubt myself I assess the doubts, trying to dispute them. A lot of the time when I doubt myself it isn’t because I can’t it’s because I’m scared of stepping out of my comfort zone.

    ~Lea

    • Ooooh Lea…that’s so true for a lot of us. Fear will keep us where we are…it’s our ego thinking it’s keeping us safe. I know that feeling myself. 🙂

  • Elle,
    I’ve actually had a self doubting type week. Mostly about my writing and the blog. I tried all my regular tricks. And I read your tips and couldn’t agree more about stopping critical thinking (although you may have to fake it at first)!! In the end, it was a call from my son saying he’d read my latest post and it changed the way he looked at his life. Wow! That will keep me writing forever!

    Thanks again for a wonderful post!

    xoxo
    Betsy

    • Betsy my dear one, if you even need an encouraging voice about your writing and your posts, just drop me a line…I love reading your writings…truly I do…and I’m so happy a loving voice lifted you out of your self doubt. 🙂

  • Dear Elle-
    Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. I think it was because of you that I started reading Neville Goddard in earnest – he says it like it is – no nonsense- straight to the point- so thank you for your repeated reminders of his power as a teacher ~
    Yes- this has been a difficult week for me. I am hearing the critical voice of ‘What’s the difference – why bother’? . I know where it’s coming from and am using mantras, imagining, grateful thoughts, doing things that I love- and just being kind to myself. A large part of it has to do with lack of sleep and a very sick pup. When anyone I love becomes ill, it definitely effects my mood- I have not yet mastered staying ‘detached’ (in the best sense of the word). So thanks so much for your words – they are affirming and a great reminder. With gratitude and love -Fran

    • I’m sorry to hear about your pup Fran and am sending loving, healing thoughts. I think being kind to ourselves is a great one for managing those times of self-doubt and as I said to Betsy…want an encouraging voice…drop me a line…I’ll be your biggest cheerleader, with bells on. Just to mix a metaphor or two. I’m finding that my current quest for seeking joy in every day is a great one for managing our moods. 🙂

  • Another excellent article and congratulations on your 2 + years !

    Years ago, I had someone tell me that everything can be distilled down to one of two things – either fear or Love. And she went on to tell me that not only can we choose which one we wish to experience but that we can also choose which one form which to operate our lives. (she too was a student of Neville )

    When I find myself operating from fear, my most typical trick to get back on course is to laugh at myself. I look at what I am fearful of, or worried about, and start to ratchet it up to the ridiculous extreme and by doing so I am able to discover just how silly the original fear or worry was. It brings me back to the peaceful power of Love.

    Write on, Elle !

    • I think your friend is most definitely on to something Joseph. I absolutely believe that it’s true, we get to choose love or fear all the time. I like your laughter trick and ratcheting it up to being ridiculous. It’s sort of hard to get down on ourselves when we’re being so amusing. Like this one. 🙂

  • I came across this post via a trail of breadcrumbs, I guess you could say, but it was very timely, Elle. It is difficult at times to manifest our dreams. Our Inner Critic often tries to have its way with us, and I am no different. So, I was very glad to come across this and read your words. Thank you so much for sharing your own experience with fear and doubt. I have found your story and suggestions quite inspirational. Will follow along with you in the future. 🙂 Thank you, again!

    • Welcome Dawna…trails of breadcrumbs can lead us to all sorts of interesting places. I’m happy you found yourself here. We’d love to continue to hear your insights and perspectives in the comments. There are no accidents in life…you’ve joined this global community for a very good reason and I for one can’t wait to have you participate more. 🙂

    • Welcome Martine, and thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. We’re all encouragers here, so welcome to the party. 🙂

  • Thanks for your advice. As I struggle with this it is important to get the mind in the right frame. God created humans in the way they are meant to look for help from other sources. Sometimes it is hard to admit or ask. When I experience self doubt I think of past experiences that seemed insurmountable, yet were workable. Thanks for bringing up this relevant topic and please keep spreading your message.

    • That’s a great point of view Albert. Looking back it’s pretty easy to see all the times we were scared, or worried or concerned, yet here we still are…hopefully having fun. And many thanks for your kind words…you are so encouraging. 🙂

  • I have learned that regret stings more sharply than attempting-and-“failing.” When I feel fear in such situations, typically before dialing an important phone call, I stand up and walk for a minute (pessimistic thoughts tend to continue or accelerate if I stay seated). I say aloud, “it won’t kill me and it will be over in one hour” (philosophy attributed to talk show host Larry King). I think of how proud I will be afterwards. Then jump in!

    • Wow Lynn, that’s a wonderful perspective. Welcome to the conversation and thanks for sharing. I think the idea of moving around is a great one. Interesting how negativity is more able to keep a tighter grip when we’re still. This community is filled with brilliant people with amazing ideas like yours, I think I’m going to have to open up my blog to more guest posters. Hmmm something to think about. That’s for the inspiring thoughts. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Pamela and taking the time to leave your encouraging comment. All encouragement gratefully received here, and very much appreciated. 🙂

  • Good tips here Elle. We have to break that negative domino effect which starts with one self-doubting thought and continues on. They are just thoughts and like clothes, we can change them on any given day. So coming up with practices like the ones you mention are good ways to be on the alert for them. Examining these thoughts and analyzing them is what I try to do. Also, I use examples from my past to combat these self-defeating thoughts. For example, I tell myself that the thought I’m having isn’t valid because I succeeded in a particular task the last time, gave a successful speech last time, enjoyed myself at the social event last time. I use the past positive experiences to counter the negative thoughts of today.

    • What a great thought Vishnu, thoughts like clothes that we can change, and probably should, every day. And your perspective on reminding yourself of how well everything went in the past is a technique for us all. Thanks for sharing your tips so generously my friend.

  • I sure loved this today! Thank you!

    Elle, my life has been full of meanies, and yes, they are clueless as to the workings of this universe, poor dears, and they are so damn convinced, too! Their words had really penetrated me to such a degree that it took a while for me to get back on track. Now I am on it and will keep going, never to get off! That’s right, the trick is to keep going. That is the difference between the success and the failure!

    On LinkedIn the other day someone had posted a cartoon of someone digging for diamonds who had long a way to go before getting to the diamonds. Below that picture, was another in which there was a guy who gave up, yet with one or two more hits, he would have gotten to the diamonds (visible to us on the other side of the wall he was digging through). Doesn’t that say it all?

    hooray for this blog! Have a great one!

    • I’m singing happy songs for you A that you got yourself back on track and shut out the meanies. I remember a story similar to the digging for diamonds one…and you speak the truth when you say we all have to keep on keeping on. So glad you enjoying the blog…it’s always so encouraging to hear. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *